This improvised musical has been touring for many years, astounding fans along that way. Having won a following with regular stops at the Southbank's Udderbelly Festival and run at the St James Theatre and Lyric Theatre, Showstopper! then became the first improvised show to score a West End run. Its next run kicks off at the Other Palace from January to March.
To the uninitiated, a spontaneous show sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Big shot musical theatre producer 'Cameron' (cue knowing titters) phones to say he needs a new musical, pronto. And so it is up to the audience to come up with setting, musical influences, guitar style and, most hilariously, title. Expect silliness and punning a-plenty as, based on the whims of the audience, seven seasoned performers make up a musical.
Press were invited to review two productions, to demonstrate the scope and originality of each show. There was a magical fairy grotto musical called Puck Off with catchy numbers in the vein of Wicked, Les Mis, Jersey Boys and more. Then, an utterly different Daily-Mail-themed show, The Lyin' King with ultra contemporary refereneces to the Cereal Cafe burning down and songs in the style of .
In the wrong hands it would be agonising watching, but the sheer talent and stupendously quick-wits of the Showstoppers performers create intricate, all-singing, all-dancing musicals time after time. The improvisation is so slick and impressive, some cynics have suggested that it's too good to be spontaneous and must be some kind of a trick (having sat through two, we are convinced this is pure quick-witted talent and no cheating).
The resulting production might not quite have the hit musical numbers of a Lloyd Webber show, but the quality and enjoyment factor is always high. Best of all, with fringe-priced tickets (rather than three figure West End prices) you can come back again and again and always have a different experience.
|What||Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, The Other Palace|
|Where||The Other Palace Theatre, 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Victoria (underground)|
21 Jan 19 – 16 Mar 19, Mon - Thu 7.30pm, Fri 5.30pm & 8.30pm, Sat 2.30pm & 7.30pm
|Price||£20 - £50|
|Website||Click here to book|